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Solitary Cup Coral

Cynarina lacrymalis


C. lacrymalis is a free-living single-polyp coral. During daytime, especially during periods of low light, the translucent wall surrounding the sac-like body cavity may inflate with water, making it swell to twice the normal size, thereby greatly increasing its surface area and the photosynthesizing zooxanthellae exposed to the sunlight. When not inflated, its cylindrical, fleshy polyp and radiating tentacles may be extended for feeding. It is typically a mixture of green or brown in color, but may also be pink and other colors. This unique coral is the only member of the Cynarina genus.


This solitary coral is most often attached to the sea bed, but may also be free-living. Found in protected reef environments and deep sandy substrates, at depths of up to 50m. Distribution: Indo-West Pacific.


These 3 specimens are different individuals, found at different locations, depths and dates, but all from the Gulf of Davao, Philippines.

No species ID suggestions


Blogie 6 years ago

Thanks, Laura & Marta!

LauraMaria 6 years ago

This is so cool, Blogie! Such unique corals, what a great spot. Fabulous pictures as always :)

Davao Del Norte, Philippines

Lat: 7.06, Long: 125.69

Spotted on Jan 12, 2012
Submitted on Jul 20, 2012

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